ENTERPRISE DENIED: ORIGINS OF THE DECLINE OF AMERICAN RAILROADS, 1897-1917

This book presents an examination of the American Railroad Problem during the Progressive Era. Throughout the Progressive Era the increased tempo of industrial activity continued to be matched by the expanding diversity and complexity of economic life, with the gross national product nearly doubling in these decades. Although the railroads poured large sums of money into physical plant and equipment during this period, the book suggests that even more massive sums were needed for improvements to prevent the industry from falling behind. Operating costs were continually increasing during this period, but rate increases were not allowed to offset the increased operating costs. The railroads were not in good shape to meet the demands of World War I due to starvation for adequate funds for improvement during the Progressive Era. The key argument of the book is the suggestion that the unwillingness of the ICC to grant general rate increases during a period of policy uncertainty commencing with the enactment of the Hepburn Act in 1906 prevented the flow of investment funds from keeping pace with the demands upon the railroad system and paved the way for a collapse in the profitability of railroad operations after 1911. An appendix estimates the net new investment required by the American railroads in relation to demands upon them for the period 1989-1915. A bibliography is included.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Columbia University Press

    440 West 110th Street
    New York, NY  USA  10025
  • Authors:
    • Martin, A
  • Publication Date: 1971

Media Info

  • Pagination: 402 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00043530
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 23 1973 12:00AM